Asset Alliance Group has acquired Valley Finance with owner and director Tim Thornton joining the bus and coach division’s senior team.
Thornton set up Valley Finance in 2004 and has more than 30 years’ experience in asset finance providing funding for some of the UK’s major bus and coach operators.
This move is thought to make Asset Alliance Group the largest independent funder in the bus and coach sector providing support with all aspects of leasing and finance.
Willie Paterson, CEO of Asset Alliance Group, said: “We are excited about joining forces with Valley Finance and this is an important next step for the Group.
He added: “Our team has known Tim for many years and by combining our skills and experience we have strengthened our position as an outstanding specialist funder. Our bus and coach division, led by Michael Bycroft, now has huge potential to broaden its product portfolio and service offering.”
This deal comes three years after Asset Alliance Group secured a strong foothold in the bus and coach sector by acquiring Forest Asset Finance.
Thornton said: “The team at Asset Alliance Group share my values and principles, so this is a fantastic opportunity for us to grow the overall bus and coach business, while maintaining business as usual for my existing client base.”
In August Asset Alliance Group secured a £20m investment from Allied Irish Bank (GB) taking the total funding in the first to £175m.
The company first obtained a £75m revolving asset-based lending deal in 2016, led by NatWest and supported by HSBC. Further funds were awarded by the Clydesdale Bank and Shawbrook Bank in 2018.
Douglas McArthur, Asset Alliance Group’s chief financial officer, said of the investment: “We are fortunate to be in a virtuous cycle – as our customer base has grown, our reputation in the commercial vehicle market has strengthened and that is reflected in the confidence we have received from the banks.
“This extension of our fund is important as it allows to expand our offering even further, meaning we can serve even more businesses across the UK.”